HAVING beaten Papua New Guinea by five wickets in an International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup Qualifier warm up match at Bulawayo Athletic Club on Thursday, Zimbabwe Chevrons shift their focus to the start of the tournament tomorrow when they clash with Nepal at Queens Sports Club.
Led by Sikandar Raza in that fine tuning match against PNG, the Chevrons recorded a comfortable victory with 57 balls remaining, in fact, they are as good as they won by seven wickets as veterans Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor were retired out after reaching their half centuries so as to give other batsmen a opportunity to have time in the middle. Opener Solomon Mire struck a solid 36 off 34 deliveries while left hander Craig Ervine also got a confidence building 22 not out.
Concerns will, however, be raised on explosive opener Cephas Zhuwao who failed to make a mark as he went cheaply, dismissed for just 11 runs, undone by the leg spin bowling of Mahuru Dai. A lot of noise was made about his omission from the initial squad which led to his late inclusion but his failure to deliver against PNG will put him under immense pressure heading into the tournament.
Left arm seamer Brian Vitori had to work hard on a track which did not offer much to the pace bowlers which saw him finish with one wicket.
Chevrons Spinners Raza, ChevronsTendai Chisoro as well as lanky pace bowler Blessing Muzarabani picked up two wickets apiece.
Nepal had their second warm up match against Hong Kong on Thursday abandoned without a ball being bowled due to a wet Kwekwe Sports Club outfield. The Nepalese had beaten United Arab Emirates by five wickets at the same venue on Tuesday to get sweet revenge over a team which defeated them in the ICC World Cricket League Division Two Final in Windhoek last month.
Led by Paras Khadka, Nepal have a number of talented youngsters within their ranks and it will be these that the Asians will certainly be banking as they look to cause an upset against the host nation.-@Mdawini_29